tv Stuart Eizenstat President Carter CSPAN July 6, 2018 12:11am-1:43am EDT
>> c-span's "washington journal", live every day with news and policy issues that impact too. coming up on friday morning, the cofounder william discusses ideas ten partisan gridlock in congress. then, the daily beast senior contributor talks about president trumps supreme court nomination process. watch "washington journal", live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> justice anthony kennedy's retirement brings a significant change to the supreme court. follow the story on c-span from presidential nominating a replacement to the swearing-in, all on c-span. c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> stewart, the chief domestic advisor to president jimmy carter recalled the tenure of america's 30 night president. he spoke about his book, president carter of the wilson center. this is 90 minutes.
>> good morning. thank you for braving the security which protects us all. more will be coming in the back if some of you would like to move forward that would make it easier for us to accommodate the crowd that is standing in line. and jane harman, president ceo of the wilson center are delighted to preside over this event entitled president carter, the white house years. i have been carrying this book around when it's a workout. once you finish reading it you can cancel your gym membership just walk around carrying it.
jim will understand that. measured against other biographies sue wins on size alone. this is not just a book party, although we are thrilled the book was written. this is a deep dive into whether presidency means written by someone was there to see it all. certainly i was there too but stu remembers far more details than i could, that's why i was so excited to get the book and have this discussion. were talking about a discussion in depth today. every time i saw stew in the white house over 40 years ago he was carrying a yellow pad. everyone will remember this all the time 5000 pages worth of notes on a yellow pad. i doubt that any presidential biography was ever prepared by someone so well prepared.
i am not surprised. i met sue in the summer of 1964 when we set next to each other at the young democrats of america in washington. i won't reveal her ages but i will tell you, he is older. we overlapped at law school, had sons thing brian who are friends and then worked across the hall from each other in the carter white house on the second floor of the west wing. both of our panelists were there so this is a lovely reunion, and a number of others from the carter administration are in the audience. i thought i would ask your friends to stand up for a moment. look at this. pretty impressive. sue is currently senior counsel where he heads the firm's international practice and focuses on resolving international trade problems in
business dispute with the u.s. and foreign governments. he was chief white house domestic policy advisor to jimmy carter. u.s. ambassador to the e.u. during the carter administration. most important was your time as a scholar is the wilson center in 2001 when you researched and wrote what later became a book called imperfect justice, slave labor in the unfinished business of world war ii. it was a blockbuster. we thank you for coming here to write. joining sue on the panel are david aaron, former deputy national security advisor to president carter. the former deputy assistant for domestic affairs. former vice president for government affairs at turner.
guess you're still affiliated with turner broadcasting. bob hunter, member of the nfc staff who worked on western pain and middle eastern affairs. perform policy advisor to ted kennedy. historian doug who is a professor at the university of maryland maryland. so, in reading blurbs from a broad spectrum of commentators about the book i was moved by several. alan greenspan said", president carter anticipated many programs his successor, ronald reagan embrace. he fostered major deregulation of transportation, communication and thinking. most importantly appointed paul one of the most committed fighters to the chairmanship of the federal reserve. he succeeds in offering a balanced view of the carter
presidency. a splendid read. david ignatius said this. he called carter smart, decent but unlucky man in the white house. i was deputy secretary of the cabin and i had a second row seat to the first half of the presidency. i left in 1978 but stayed in touch. my late husband and i met in the roosevelt room and the west wing. president carter credits himself with our over 30 years of marriage. sydney surfer a time which has played a big role in the carter post presidency. that is not covered in the book but has lasted for decades. so when you write the book about the post presidency it has to be a minimum 8000 pages. this morning, sue will give 15 minutes of opening comments followed by a panel which i will
moderate we will go to your questions. our goal is to tease out the successes and disappointments of the hard-working and principled president. i want to echo what madeleine albright says. she says that she hopes this book will help reframe the carter presidency. so i. please welcome wilson center scholar. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for your long friendship and for hosting this. jimmy carter's political idol was harry truman. he placed truman's famous slogan on his oval office desk, the buck stops here. both presidents left office highly unpopular.
now, truman is remembered more for his achievements them for his faults. i hope my book will lead to a similar reassessment of jimmy carter as president, not simply as a widely admired former president. my thesis is that he was one of the most successful one term presidents in american history. in t, he accomplished more than many into terms. to objective surveys indicate that more than nearly 70% of all of his legislative proposals were passed by congress, just under lyndon johnson. his vice president, watcher montel summed up his president by saying he told the truth, he obeyed the law, and we kept the peace. the rap on the carter presidency is summed up by several eyes.
inflation, iran, and experience by he and his georgia mafia and interparty warfare with the kennedy wing of the democratic party. i do not gloss over in my book any of these problems. i address them directly. but, with no eyewitnesses likely to be around in the next 20 years and with the danger there'll be an indelible image of his administration as a failure, i wanted to write a book that demonstrated these problems should not obscure the very major successes that he achieved. ones that are long-lasting that have made the country in the world a better place. the authenticity of the book is
based on the fact that i wrote over 5000 pages of contemporaneous notes housed in the library congress of every meeting and phone call amplified by 350 interviews, five with him and i was not selected. i interviewed people who are favorable in people who are unfavorable. to get a complete picture. because of this contemporary and's nature of my notes, provides a unique view of this president. and i believe of any presidency and of the hothouse atmosphere of working in the white house. let me briefly share some accomplishments and how they occur. on the domestic side, he laid the foundation for three major energy bills in four years. of the energy security we enjoy
today he regulated the price of natural gas for maximum production putting conservation on the nation's agenda for the first time. and inaugurating the air of clean energy with solar and wind power. the final compromises were appropriately hammered out with two conservatives consented there's into house members in the map room of the white house where fdr followed the course of world war ii. he was a great consumer champion appointing consumer advocates to oversee industry, not as today you see stalwarts overseeing their own industries. he charged them with the clear charge backed up by harder and legislation, namely to transform
our overregulated transportation system. he deregulated trucking railroads and airlines. in the airline industry he permitted cheaper prices, more competition, he brought air travel to the middle class and democratized it. i daresay we would not have the jetblue says southwest that we have today if it were not for lad regulation. he began the deregulation of telecommunications which open the cable industry as we know it today. he deregulated bank deposits of people could be paid full interest rates and importantly, he repealed the prohibition era of limitations in the beer industry which had prevented the flow of the local craft beers.
he was the greatest environmental president since theodore roosevelt. doubling the size of the park system created by the alaska lance belts in doing so over the opposition of the alaska delegation who did not want to prevent any inch from being developed. he made the last compromise. he later map, giant map of alaska on the oval office rug. got down on his hands and knees with senator stevens and pointed out every river the mountain ridge that could go into the protected area. amazing he said later he knew more about my state than i did. he also inaugurated something that was a lasting value.
we won the election in large part because of watergate. he put in place a series of post watergate reforms and good government. for example the 1978 ethics act regulated then and now disclosure for all public officials of their assets coming in limiting gifts when they're in office restricting the lobbying when they left. he created inspectors general. there's not a week that goes by to weed out waste and abuse. he created a special counsel. and in addition, he signed into law the foreign corrupt practices act which barred american companies from grabbing foreign officials from getting contracts and made the most
thorough reform of the civil service since its creation. i was caught up in one of the reef forms. when a magazine had a profile saying i had a great love of tootsie rolls. the little one sent tootsie roll's. i got a giant size lifetime supply of tootsie roll's from the tootsie roll company. when we determined that we probably may have exceeded the $25 gift rule we returned it. wrote a nice letter explaining why in the every chairman said later, you can have it both ways, the box was empty when you got it back. i'm still trying to find the secret service agent who stole my tootsie rolls. this southern president appointed more women including this wonderful lady too high public office and more
minorities to judgeships in senior positions than all 38 presidents put together before him all 38. ruth bader ginsburg was asked how the two become a judge? she said it was because of jimmy carter. he supported affirmative action he save chrysler new york city from certain bankruptcy. he created the modern vice presidency with walter mondale. he took what had been an office of total disrepute and made it what it is today. after the election mondale submitted requests and access to secret documents, meetings, one-on-one lunches. all were accepted. carter added one other on his own, he moves the vice president now permitted into the west wing. as we know politics everything is location. just yards from the oval office
he made him a full partner. mondale almost overstepped because he had one of his aides get the original architectural plans of the west wing and found his new office had originally had a private bathroom which she very much wanted. later he found that it remodeling of the west wing the bathroom had been moved to the national security council's office of henry kissinger. mondale decided not to fight over bathroom and did fine without it. more seriously, you'll read in some detail that this fully engaged vice president came within an eyelash and this is the first time is recorded every signing or of deciding not to be on the reelection ticket because of his concern with the speech and the cabinet resignations.
inflation was an enormous problem. we inherited it and carter tried multiple plans to deal with it but nothing worked. he decided to take tough medicine in an election year and over the opposition of many of us he appointed paul to head the feds knowing that he was going to choke the economy squeeze the inflation out, raise interest rates only to higher unemployment. the meeting they had was class classic. volker is taller than carter. carter describes vividly in the book how he was slouching over couch in the oval office and carter's said he felt like -- but he did appoint him.
he let him do his job and supported that top monetary policy without complaint, even during an election year. the tough medicine only worked during the regular administration and for the nation thereafter. this is emblematic of what carter did. tough decisions which had payoffs later. his foreign-policy achievements were more significant. camp david will stand as a landmark or personal diplomacy. he went over intelligence reports to understand. he took them to the gettysburg battlefield to demonstrate the cost of continued war. he barred the press so there would be no leaks during negotiation. and, after 13 agonizing days and nights, over 20 drafts that he wrote and negotiated separately
with each because they were like two scorpions, we came close to an agreement on the 13th day but didn't reach it. he had his bag packed in the car ordered to fly back to israel. carter came up with a personal touch that changed history. he learned that he had eight grandchildren and got each of their names or personal inscriptions to each of them of pictures of himself at camp david and personally walk them over to the cabin. as he began to look through them carter says he described to me his lips quiver, his eyes tear and he said mr. president, putting my bags down i will give it one last try. and the rest is history.
that is a treaty that has lasted for almost 40 years with no violations. it is central to israel's security in our national interest. was the first person to put human rights at the center of foreign-policy. he reached out to dissident democratic movements cutting off their arms and tied that the panama canal treaty to show there be a new era. one fast story. the hardest fight we had a congress was the panama canal treaty. one cost revote was republican senator who is dead set against this he learned through mondale and he would consider switching his vote of carter would see him every two weeks to give him foreign-policy advice. carter said no i would not want
to limit you to two weeks. he voted for the treaty and carter never signed. also on the left hubris the soviet in the soviet jury movement. the leader of the distant movement and saved sharansky's life. he said during his trial that you are not a u.s. spy. this hit at the soft underbelly of the soviet union but was joined with hard power as well. it was carter, not reagan who begin the buildup after vietnam. certainly reagan built on it but he built on carter's foundation. together with the arms treaty with the tough response to the afghan invasion, the carter doctrine, it carter played a
significant role with reagan building on it for the unraveling of the soviet union. china, everybody thinks china and kissinger and nixon and they deserve all the credit for outreach. they would not take on the taiwan lobby. carter took the lobby on in one. again another very tough fight. another story, they come into the white house cabinet room and what he wants the and thankful for diplomatic relations and if this sounds familiar, it should. he was the lowest possible tariffs on chinese goods, but he knew there was a law precluding that if there's limits on immigration. he said, mr. president we don't limit immigration and he pushed the white house notepad and pencil to the president. he said you put on the path the
number of chinese you would like us to send each year. a million? 10 million, the president with a twinkle in his eye said i will take ten mailing if you'll take 10000 american journalists in response. the coup de grace was administered by iran's cruel radical ayatollah. his top aide i interviewed. he held american hostage for 444 days in violation of every international norm. i very frank in this chapter. we made a lot of mistakes. the most significant were the intelligence failures. the cia put it back on the phone in 1953, six presidents had lavished tens of billions of
dollars of the most sophisticated military equipment and yet, the cia to not realize the domestic support was resting on quicksand. they did not know that for five years he had been getting cancer treatment. they did not know that the exile in paris was sending provocative cassettes back tehran to stimulate a revolt. carter's most difficult decision was what to do when the hostages were taken. he made a decision telling families, i'm going to get your loved ones back that is my number one priority. frankly, i disagreed with that. they suggested we blockade the harpers to blockade them from exporting oil. carter was afraid that would risk having the hostages come back in coffins. i don't agree with that but i
understand it. we negotiated for 444 days unsuccessfully. another decision made in retrospect was holing himself up in the white house during that entire time, not traveling to show that he was spending full-time on the hostage crisis. it gave the press the opportunity to make this the story for the whole last year. the cronkite ended every cbs program same day 150, d250. it was a disaster. the biggest disaster came at the end and it became a metaphor for those opposed to the carter presidency, that was the aborted rescue effort in iran. was highly complex, a lot of bad luck involved, but the destruction of those in the loss of life available americans became a signature of what
happened. it happened largely not because there were not enough helicopters, it happened because we had not had into military service cooperation. it was only later we created that for which took osama bin laden and others. if there is one positive thing to, comments through means that i described we get 50000 iranian jews out of iran, kept those who were in the united states from being exiled were very clever reinterpretation of the visa loss. and that is a lesson for dreamers. to conclude in this way, we lost overwhelmingly in 1980, yet carter did not brewed from the very first day after the election he said, let's make
this the most successful, outgoing transition ever, and it was. he negotiated the superfund chemical cleanup. he negotiated the release of the hostages. in one last gesture of reconciliation with ted kennedy, kennedy wanted stephen breyer appointed to a vacancy in the first circuit. i went into see carter he said it would be a tribute to the judiciary in us. that's what got him on the first circuit. my book is not just about policy comments about people. i have interesting profiles. ms. lillian was his inspiration from the beginning. registered nurse she tended the black and white when it was
highly unpopular and into the peace corps at 68. a wonderful story, new york reporter came down and quizzed her on the essential pieces of the campaign i will never lie to. she said, certainly you know that your son must have lied, certainly. she said yes, you're white. he told white lies all the time. the reporter said what you mean by that and she said well remember when i said how wonderful it was to have you here, that was a white lie. [laughter] i saw a roselyn carter going from a shy campaigner who could barely speak to an accomplished first lady. and one last story, and that is, pass along the powerful chairman of the senate finance committee. the son of the famous king fish and later chief of staff to hugh's brother earl.
what we, the story is followed. we called all the leaders in just before a tough reelection and said, we have to get the boat out for me and he promised lavishly buildings, bridges and roads. when he won they come lining up waiting to be paid. they knew there wasn't enough money in the treasury. he said uncle earl what must i tell these leaders. they said just say your uncle earl lied. russell was a transformational figure. he cannot understand why this would not do the same. jimmy carter was the principal player. i described him in great detail coming from the manifested 500 person hamlet to the oval
office. by understanding the mood at the time and wanting honest government after watergate. a smile as broad as the mississippi river, he was all things to all people and put together an improbable and unstable coalition of conservative southern whites anxious to have one of their own in the white house, african-americans laborers, working-class people in the midwest. it was an unstable although successful coalition. he was in many ways the first new democrat. fiscally conservative, socially liberal on poverty, and race issues, real international lists and he was criticized for being they mentioned it looking at the notes from the cabinet, he was criticized for over attention to
detail and yet, over the years i began to wonder if that's a worse way to govern them by three by five cards. he had an odd view of politics. he was a ferocious campaigner. he did what he needed to get elected and then he looked at politics and said the worst thing to do if you wanted to take a recommendation that was his strength and weakness. it allowed him to attack, cut problems regardless but it also was forgetting the president is not only the commander-in-chief but the politician and she. he was too liberal for conservatives into conservative for liberals. my book will take you deeper into the white house. you'll understand the pressures the conflicting demands to make
decisions for which there are no good options. i'm not recommending him to replace one, but i am suggesting he belongs in the foothills of mount rushmore. they've done great things for the country in the world. thus a principal argument of my book. thank you. [applause] >> well done. by the way, the reference to correcting typos was to the minutes i took of the cabinet meetings. that was one of my jobs in the two years i spent in the white house. carter would read them and correct my spelling mistakes and break in addition that he read at least 300 pages per day which is an astounding amount of work when you think about it, given the other pressures.
i want to ask everyone a question. if the goal of your book, this gigantic and well researched and well explained book is to reframe the presidency and to help people who did not know him or didn't understand him think about the successes he had, how do you go about doing that? putting information out what make the sale specially in written form. so i want ask going down the line ending with our historian based on the experience that each of our panelists had in the white house working on some of the issues you mentioned, what suggestion they have for looking back on their time and time since they would help you and madeleine albright achieve this goal. the start with david inform
policy, this continued active until six months ago and made many appearances here was a fascinating choice for carter as national security advisor. taking a couple of the hard issues, pick the ones you want. looking back, how do you think they can be explained in the context of then and now in a way to make the sale that carter did the right thing and was a very good president. >> i would like to focus on the iranian hostage rescue. as you point out it was -- it is not really understood why it failed. there is a big study by the pentagon, but i would like to take you back to the last meeting you had we had a meeting
with the secretary of defense and they said that what i want you to do is ask questions. that was my principal qualification for the job. so i'm in the process asking stupid questions. i get a note handed to me by a guy who was the deputy chief of staff. the note said, the real operation uncertainty is the helicopter. i did not know what that meant. i said what about the helicopter? harold said, we have taken care of that problem. i said what was the problem? as it turned out, the problem was this, the navy refused to put any aircraft carriers into
the golf. as a result, we had to try to mount the hostage rescue from the indian ocean. unfortunately, we did not have attack helicopters that could fly that far. they decided to use the submarine warfare helicopters that would go around and had tremendous range but, the problem was severalfold. one, the pilots of these helicopters were lifers. there are 40, 50 years old with families. they had not signed up for an assault. apparently as described they were drinking, smoking dope, have a morale problem sunday said we brought in marines and helicopter pilots and they will be great.
the problem was, they didn't how to five helicopters. as a result, one a light went off went back. another got lost. a third through his flak jacket on top of the air conditioner for the engine in particular. finally and in a very sad case, one when they decided to abort the mission flew into a c-130 that was full of ammunition and fuel and a lot of people lost their lives. the reason i mention this is twofold. on one hand, this was a doomed operation because the navy refused to put their aircraft carriers in the gulf. it would say maybe it could've been dangerous.
of course, absolutely. except one thing. when the first gulf war took place and therefore started flying out of the emirates to do -- in iraq and kuwait, they drilled those aircraft carriers right into the gulf. they were not going to get beaten by the air force. that's important for one very overriding reason which is not really been explored much, but the navy was and is deathly afraid of having an aircraft carrier sunk, particularly by a chief torpedo or chief missile of some kind. they are extremely vulnerable. they know if that happens will build another 5 billion-dollar aircraft carrier.
>> that's fascinating. the domestic policy i was thinking woodrow wilson was president 100 years ago had a good first term based on his success on domestic policy. it was not as long as jimmy carter but the federal reserve, the income tax and federal trade commission all passed on wilson's watch. very few people remember that. they do remember what many think is an idealistic and unfocused international policy. some of us think it was successful but many don't. they also remember at the end of the presidency wilson was incapacitated and he had a terrible record on race and wasn't very good on women either. the memory of wilson is mix. i love it that we celebrate his
meshing of scholarship and policy here. looking at domestic policy achievements, what insights you have david, that was fascinating. some of that was not carter but circumstances. how would you frame the domestic record now in a way that people will notice? >> i'm not sure that can be done. american politics is almost completely tied up with winning and losing. the short-term view so jerry ford lost even though there's a lot to be said for the ford presidency. hw bush lost, we lost someday in the future as we have seen recently people in your business
will return to this and this will be an enormous contribution. one of the contributions that carter administration me. people ask what happens in our relations with congress. they have been very smart about this but i always say, the man been a failure of leadership on our part but there is a failure scholarship in the house and senate you think that president carter was too conservative while the president was getting ready to elect ronald reagan. i work for ten years in the senate and i can tell you that the united states senators did not believe their political fortunes were tied in any way to what happened to presidents of either political party.
in their experience it didn't happen. there is a bloodbath in the senate in the 1980. we lost nelson and mcgee and frank church, a ton of people, none really thought there were in any particular degree of trouble. we did every succeeding president the biggest favor that could've been done. they all believe their political fortunes are closely tied. ronald reagan had a degree of followership that jimmy carter could only have dreamed he would have. that is the truth. every succeeding president. so maybe students of congress will come to appreciate that. >> bob, let me know to a little. stu mention carter's human
rights record. he was the first president to put human rights on. >> as form policy. it is something everybody in this room cares about. could you make comments about that and think about ways in which people have forgotten his role there may be that is a bright spot in the carter presidency. >> first, let me say to your original question what can help reframe the presidency, it's time. they mention president grant. this is an important critical building block in that historians are going to be important. when you talk about human rights people looking back and looking at today and understanding a
couple things as you go forward about presidents in the presidency. number one this character. jimmy carter was a person of genuine character. it's impossible to look at what's happening today if anyone will have historical perspective without saying the great glow that comes from jimmy carter. you cannot separate the post presidency from the presidency. it's a man of integrity who lived his life as president. carter got a bum rap on that. right from the beginning. the irony is that high henry kissinger was -- for being willing for for not taking human rights seriously enough.
how come you're worried about the. carter comes in and they were complaining that the other administration doesn't care about human rights. in america's role in the world, there are two overwhelming qualities. one is what are the interests of the united states, the other is, what is the character and values of the united states and the world? today particularly with the post war era they stayed involved because we had things we believed in. if we've had a president in modern time since lincoln i would say it was jimmy carter who said, these things we stand for.
interestingly, when he saw the unraveling of the soviet union, a lot happened because carter was working on human rights country by country. he separated communists in italy, turned to the hungarians and said let's return that. let's do the things that we can for solidarity as it began. then, in the middle east is well aware still fighting with this is a great strategic and achievement. think of how much worse it would be today if it were not for egypt and israel peace treaty which took egypt out of the military balance against israel and ended the rift of the u.s. soviet confrontation. think of how much worse it would be today if it were for that.
and then for carter to say part of human rights and part of peace for israel has to be a resolution of the palestinian issue. did not happen in his presidency but, working on the security of the middle east it began seriously under carter. for that i think you will be remembered after the fluff and nonsense of the current era is looking at the rubbish heat of history. >> i'm not happy no, dog, something bob just said prompts me to ask the questions were historian. bob just mentioned the robust post presidency of carter, ten times longer than his presidency. when we look at carter's record, can we isolate the white house? does it all meshed together? when people look back on him he's still a live and kicking,
but when people consider him, is the post presidency helping him? how do you put this together? >> i think your question jane raises an important point that steve made at the end. i think stu's book is not trying to persuade us that jimmy carter was a good man. he's trying to persuade us he was a pretty good president. i think the way we want to address carter successes and lack of successes on his presidency. to answer your other question about what would make this book be noticed, i think the next six months are very important. . .
reagan. that is shocking for a fellow like me that doesn't study that hard so there is a real challenge for election day so do they recognize the value of someone with that political decision or to take members of congress with the candidates to the far left. >> now we have a half an hour for your questions i recognize half of this audience. get ready. so you listed inflation and an experience and warfare is one i want to focus on i think
congress is problem but if you were a democrat in congress it wasn't pretty every moment i ran from both sides but i took that as a badge of honor. part of the problem with congress he brought in the inexperienced team with carter and his assistant for congress was from georgia and did not have that experience. you had a vice president who had experience but he did not use those people that mostly the inexperienced georgia team and did not spend a lot of time with congress in one story i would tell ms. robert byrd. i knew him because of a california senator was on the senate judiciary committee so
i spent countless hours sitting within 2 feet of him and he called me to complain he was offended that carter could've personally sign his letters. so that the inexperience was carter's fault so so that the inexperience was carter's fault so david ignatius that it was carter's fall. >> yes. that is a fair criticism of congress to let me take your question to be direct and blunt. december 9, 1976 during the transition before the inauguration without any hesitation the president makes two fundamental decisions in the first is to attack popular water projects many of which were boondoggles to divert our attention to drain support and
he announces he will have comprehensive energy plan from inauguration. as a result we had to scramble with the economic data while we did get the energy bill passed it took 18 months to get that done. and he made the decision not having a chief of staff. and why? the problem was that he had a chief of staff we had nobody to create those mornings and then with the energy bill. welfare reform so all sorts of
things plus the panama canal. so it always seem to pale in comparison so when ford came into office he also in reaction to nixon said he didn't want a chief of staff and it was chaotic and a disaster. and then dick cheney who became chief of staff later, he adopted the model that the president is at the center with equal access the ford had done that. so at the going away party they gave cheney a broken spur
with the iran hostage rescue operation with the logistics not to mention. >> everyone doesn't need to answer every question you to take that one. >> but there was a special working group. one of them is they would season airfield only 2 miles from a major city and keep it for two or three days and not let people come and go it was such a crazy idea.
and also has total respect for the military and then to put together the work plans. and it was very difficult to do that. >> your question is very important it resulted from several things. this is one instance you feel they are the military experts and i have to depend on them but number two he asks the military to the chief of staff to we have enough helicopters? if they don't work and they
said we do but carter ordered another one. so he built that in and third and then was dubious from the start and then to prepare the army for the johnson administration. but he said mr. president the military will never say they can't do something. so to rely on the details he didn't want to micromanage but would choose to add another helicopter.
and there were two problems that they could do with the administration and then my colleague would have been done it was a dumb idea from the beginning. the less those number of helicopters to say they were afraid if they did so that the press would learn about it. that there are four different military services none of them had worked together on any project like this.
>> but pbs will be coming up sometime. >> there is a huge agreement with the diaspora to support the shaw but is that the public didn't know anything about it. >> does a very good question so i mentioned all the mistakes not to support the shaw enough. we did not focus early enough it was at camp david and the erosion was not pointed out
>> first of all i have a very large chapter on deregulation and competition but it did not allow a truck to drop off a whole cargo at point a to return loaded back to home base. it was crazy stuff like that. so deregulation absently injected more in lower prices and to give for wonderful credit. and not to break that inflation psychology not for that monetary policy that psychological impact of wage and price battle starting with
nixon. certainly read and not do a great job with inflation but at the time of the iranian revolution and then before the hostages. and to lose 5 million barrels a day of oil in the stock market went crazy. the price of crude oil double and that is what sent inflation into double-digit ranges. how do they deal with it with wage and price controls when he released it then it came through and competition was important. somebody had to change that psychology.
>> peter. classmate and partner that we have the leaders it seems appropriate to ask with nato and carter perhaps you could say what is in the book. >> with a nato ambassador. >> what carter did was transformational and if this sounds familiar it should. he got them to pledge to increase their defense spending number one. number two they said later to
get schmidt to accept the intermediate nuclear weapons in europe with long-range capabilities he got schmidt to agree to it and i was absolutely critical. third, the summit was independent was the single most successful g summit one -- g7 summit ever for them agree the tax cut in policy or for five years and they broke
the back of it and one not to have his backpack was bragging about it and had no loyalty said look. the famous picture said if you have done it it's not bragging. he called over the military aid and jim said everyone should know he is a picture for the st. louis cardinals. if you've done it you ain't bragging.
>> at a time when the soviet union was ramping up the opposition, they did it not just the way that they heard but also working on arms control. and incidentally he had to bargain between the two key advisors with use of diplomacy in which carter is giving a major speech on the soviet union but then i saw the speech that carter gave i
could say there was the alternative paragraph i won't go through all the details but the failure on the part of schmidt but schmidt said i will only deploy it now. therefore schmidt was a straight from hamburg and carter did not tell the truth on that that gave us the experience with the missile crisis to know how to do that accurately and adequately so the soviet union understood the president of the united states would be firm in his support to the nato alliance well doing that with the two
that eurocom and is him that carter went ambassador and they put him down. >> i served in the commerce department and also international trade. i would like to know what you believe carter's relationship was with hubert humphrey that evolved with the presidency? running in 76? he had bladder cancer and then was forced. >> i am so glad you asked that question because i have a very touching description. he was a liberal but became one of great supporters it was
a beautiful story with the weekly leadership breakfast. and he rescheduled the time so he could go to his cancer treatments. number two and said hubert you belong here and went to camp david that it is the first time i have been to camp david and he had a wonderful relationship i really think if hubert had lived would be much more difficult for kennedy.
>> very, very interesting. >> six years ago i wrote a book about the senate the last great senate and coincidentally those years but the relationship between carter in congress which started out rather badly with the last three years. but he grew to understand that wasn't the case at the same time had members of congress and the senate that was capable for domestic foreign policy issues.
so 40 years ago 1978 there is more accomplishments with the mexican foreign policy one after another to stand the test of time for that the etymology canal treaty on -- panama canal treaty. from scoop jackson he did not like carter and hated him in a lot of ways but worked with him every day for three years. >> i will disagree frankly a little bit. but falling into the notion but after that so that was so difficult with d regulation
that was absolutely remarkable. why did we let that vote? you don't know how difficult it was to get two thirds of the senate that the american people thought we were giving away something that we owned. and it was hand to hand combat we contacted all the senators and what would never happen today he won back those that birds supported every man very short in stature but a great man with his accomplishments of howard baker. he was the minority leader in the senate to support the panama canal treaty knowing it
would undo his run for the presidency in the future because he thought it was right for the country. never would have happened without howard baker and in this era the pre-polarization he is one of the profiles encourage. >> wait for a microphone. >> why should we give back the canal? ask for all we stolen it. [laughter] >> mr. president you only get one of these. i have already gone to the well once. but the congressional liaison
so we had a lot of experience there. obviously to go on to be chief of staff and i think history never come back but the profiles of courage and to tell this democratic president that is amazing that is amazing but think about putting the country first think of both parties. let's get to a few more questions. this is a very pushy panel left back. >> there is no question everybody was surprised to see what a successful legislator we had but while we did have a reasonably successful area but
very little political support but detroit at that time would go have a drink with people for five or six suburban newspapers and he said you guys suck and how do you know that? are the guys come back here they tell us that you suck. so we were the most productive in 1980 the most productive lame-duck session in american history and one very good example of a piece of legislation that they would not give jimmy carter so while i completely agree we have the successful legislative program
it wasn't a successful relationship. >> from the u.s. naval academy in the memoirs account the argument october 79 whether to admit to the last and in his account he has jimmy carter predicting what will happen so could you cast some light on that thought process that he foresaw what would happen yet he went ahead and took the decisio decision? >> absolutely my deputies said if you only listen to me that's not true. before anyone else gave his first anti- inflation speech
but your question is very important finally he disclosed he had cancer his advisors including mondale said you can't turn your back on an ally but outside kissinger and rockefeller organized a real effort -- pr effort he was the last holdout and said to them i think if i let him in he will take over the embassy and what will we do then? he finally conceded at the end and he could've been treated by doctors in houston the same way he would have been treated there so he was the last holdout and instinctively understood what happened when
reagan came in and there was 241 troops our masters office was bombed reagan pulled everybody out why didn't carter do that? with the ayatollah took over? because february 79 there was an effort to take over the embassy and the secular government although appointed had the police immediately taken back on -- take them back. carter thought they would do that again. he prophesies this would happen and he was right. >> there are more questions but the panel will want a few more minutes.
aside from iran because we had a thorough conversation about ira iran, if there is one issue in the presidency that you think has been misunderstood that we did not get there how would you like that to be seen now? we will take doug last because you are the historian. >> i think his entire record is misunderstood but the fact of the matter is as pointed out in china with the arms agreements with the invasion of afghanistan that was only four years.
this is an extraordinary record and of course talking about the domestic record i think the book will be very, very helpful because i'm still reading through it but i think the foreign policy record was outstanding. >> i think the overwhelming logistics was to help the country get over nixon and johnson before that maybe we were transitional figures i
think his commitment to cap government where cabinet officers it worked or didn't work for to that degree worked largely because of the personality that was absolutely reflected and trusted if stewart was not there taking everybody's notes down and paying attention putting in those hours hadn't happened it would be a completely different station. >> a small detailed thing is that carter created the basis for the end of the cold war
which was later done and was delayed with his surgeon activity because carter was sent to do that so to demonstrate the intersection of american values especially human rights and interests that plan is absolutely necessary to secure america's place in the world and to store american support for those involved in the world. >> when you lose you do everything wrong so winning the election would have made a big difference there were decisions made but i think we
should credit carter for i say it's inflation as the book describes there were a series of others and reagan gets credit for this to stick with paul volcker but somebody had to put them in in the first place. with paul volcker but somebody had to put them in in the first place. against inflation and the rest is history. >> one other issue on the table is the foreign intelligence surveillance act based on the recommendations to correct the abuses of the nixon administration and not
only that framework to set up the intelligence committee and one of the huge tragedies where i spent eight years including the ranking member. but at any rate it is a very important piece with a large bipartisan vote ensued to close this fabulous conversation. >> so with a fascinating discussion the totality of the accomplishments of domestic and foreign policy. number 20 the degree to which on inflation robert samuelson
who works for the post set a part of me may have appointed him but he had a long-term and not running for reelection we are in the middle of the election cycle. and third a testimony to the democratic party we lost labor with minimum wage for the first time in years and save hundreds of thousands of union jobs from chrysler and ends up endorsing kennedy and women's groups. record numbers those that felt
he was just not liberal enough in the jewish community. my community the first piece to israel from an arab nation and signs the boycott bill the father that saves his life to embrace the soviet jewish movement but yet the lowest percentage of support from the jewish community than any democratic president in modern times. these things cost contacts i hope the book will reframe this. not ignoring those problems but it rests on citing what happened and what was said at all times. but also has to lead to a broader reassessment of the context to look at the remarkable record of accomplishment so what we do
on that net net basis maybe another placement of mount rushmore. >> so in the tradition of the wilson center you have produced a second book that is a candid assessment of a hugely part of history and on a personal note as your long-standing friend in this room remember i am younger. [laughter] i just want to express my affection and admiration to the whole panel. thank you. [applause] spee5